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Nov 17, 2019 5:33 PM
Inanna's Ring!Sasuke in Arcania Artefactum
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"Really?" She asks, turning to him with enthusiasm. 

The door reaches its destination; nothing else descernable seems to happen, but based on how smooth the doors in this place are it would be reasonable to assume that the movement of the lift wouldn't be noticeable either. 

"The Sanctuary is the only place I know of that has lifts," she continues. She pauses, "Well, maybe the city in Cialin has them too, but if they do they don't work."

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"We don't use magic for them, and have had them a while."

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"No magic?" She asks, her fascination heightening. 

Before she can ask anything further, the door begins to open again. She waits until the gap is about twice as wide as she is and then slips through. Once he's out as well the door stops in its tracks and begins closing again. 

One could be forgiven for mistaking the new hallway for the one they'd just come from. It looks much the same, with the exception of the pattern on the floor, which is subtly different. 

She continues speaking as they make their way down the hall, "I... guess I can see how someone would do that," she says, uncertainly. "There's machines in the walls that my magic moves," she explains, "But I suppose you could do it with actual water," she speculates. She looks up at him for any further explanation. 

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"The early ones used pulleys and cables - like metal rope - that were pulled by a machine. New ones use magnets, I think," he says. "But I'm not an engineer."

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"Oh," she says, disappointed. At the end of the hall, she lifts the Gauntlet to get the doors there to open. 

On the other side of these doors is a massive, cavernous room, filled with pillers, with a huge artificial lake in the center of it. Paths, or perhaps barriers, crisscross it every 10 meters or so, a pillar rising wherever the pathways cross, and incthe center of the lake is a spire, rising up to meet the ceiling, with another open archway allowing entry to it. The path before the lift is one of the four largest ones, in the middle of this side of the lake. At the end of the other three large paths is another large door, likely leading to more lifts. 

As she leads him down the path, she asks him, "What kind of place do you think would be best? For you to do your magic?" She bites her lip, then lets go of it, reminded of Lady Helen's constant exasperation about the habit. "I could show you one of the training rooms, or there's parks?" She trails off. 

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"Is there somewhere my magic's least likely to touch other magic? If not, the training rooms are fine."

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She frowns, thinking about that. Her magic - or her Artefact's - is pretty much everywhere in the city, in the veins beneath the ground and in the walls. There's lots in the training rooms, to let her keep an eye on the people practicing with their magic and heal them if necessary. There's spots in the parks that don't have a lot, though. She sends a questioning thread to the Gauntlet, which obliges by offering her all the bits of the city it can't get a good sense of. 

Noting them, she turns her attention back to the stranger, "The Healer says there's a few places like that. The biggest ones are in the central park and at the Guardian's disc, but those are both a bit far away; we'd have to take the railcars." She shrugs, "There's a few smaller ones in the palace training hall," she offers, "Just a few meters where the veins were damaged at some point." 

They reach the spire as she says this, she's surprised to notice. It must have taken her a few minutes to find all those dead spots. 

The door closes behind them as they enter the spire, and the directs another thread at another disc in the room there, presumably another lift. 

As it begins to rise (not that he can tell), the Gauntlet nudges her, pointedly, reminding her of something she's forgotten. 

"Oh!" She says, flushing, "I'm sorry, I didn't even-" she huffs, clears her throat, "I'm Erin," she tells him, "Erin Noak, wielder of the Gauntlet of the Healer and Lady of the Healer's Sanctuary," she corrects herself. She should probably be at least somewhat formal if he's actually a visitor from another world.

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"My pleasure to meet you, Erin Noak, and my apologies for my lapse in manners. I'm Sugira, rookie detective in Azad City, on the independent planet Buru."

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"Sugira," she repeats to herself, carefully trying to pronounce it precisely the same way as he did. Then she smiles at him, "It's good to meet you, too," she tells him, then pauses, "Well," she amends, "It's not nice that you were somewhere no one else is supposed to be able to get to, but other than that..." she trails off. 

The doors open, revealing another room in the same theme as the last few - stone surfaces, waterways, mosaic on the floor, door at the end. The only exceptions being that one, there are no lights on, and two, this room has windows. They're almost floor to ceiling, revealing the plaza surrounding the building and the night sky above. The stars are a little faded due to the lights of the city, but most of them are still visible. 

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He nods, and re-activates his detect magic.

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The city continues to be Extremely Magic. 

There's the same things he noticed before: the Gauntlet still radiates magic, though it ripples across the glass to collect in the walls, quite unlike light; veins of water and increasingly more life magic run through the walls, floor, ceiling, and the water troughs. 

What's new is what he can see outside the windows. The lights are magic, much like the ones down below, and veins continue to run through the streets as far as his spell allows him to sense, but the real interesting thing is up above. A powerful protective dome covers every bit of the sky which he can see. It swirls with multiple kinds of magic, primarily water and life, but with significant amounts which could be identified as fire, air, earth, illusion, space and time. 

Through the front windows he can see a sprawling building across the plaza from the one they're in. It glows with magic, and another, smaller dome of the same type as the one above surrounds it. 

After setting the doors to opening, Erin turns back to Sugira, "So?" She asks, "Is the training hall alright? That's the palace just there, the hall's not too far from the side entrance I like to use this late."

It is in fact pretty late. Probably she should be in bed by now, but what's the point of being ruler of a city if you can't set your own bedtime? 

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"Here's good."

He considers, mentally pages through his spells for a suitable test...

Dimension Door tends not to fail too spectacularly. 

He speaks a few seconds' worth of a twisting, incomprehensible chant, and teleports across the room.

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Her eyes widen. That's... something that could be done with the magic she knows. A powerful enough mage with a strong space affinity, the kind that's born once or twice a generation, could do it, or a mage with a close bond with a space-aligned Complex Artefact, or a powerful enough Simple one. But... she pokes her Gauntlet. It sends her a negative; he doesn't have an Artefact, and it didn't sense any mana coming from him.

Alright. 

"I... Guess I believe you, then," she says. She frowns, "You said it was an accident. Can you get back?" 

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" - I'd assume so." He goes quiet. "I'm... Not sure."

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"Do you want to go back? Do you want to try outside of the city, Sanctuary is one of the most magical places in the world, outside is probably better if you're worried about that."

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"I do want to return home. But it might not be safe for me from my end; another mishap could strand me somewhere less friendly. It's likely people are already searching for me, though."

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She nods, "That's good, though I hope they don't show up in the ring room like you did, it takes a while to get down there, and I wouldn't want them to bother the Rod."

She leads him out into the plaza, closing the doors behind them, pushing her hands up into her long, wide sleeves to protect then from the cool night air.

"I can find you someplace to stay," she offers. "In the palace, or the refugee district. Or you could go to Cialin, it's not as safe there but it might be easier to do your magic."

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"Here's fine. And I might be able to help. You're in charge of things?"

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She nods, the stops, then shrugs and makes a little up-and-down wave, "Sort of, yes. I'm the wielder and avatar of the Healer, and the Gauntlet," she waves with it, "Let's me control everything in the city. Or, I will be able to, I've only had it for a year or so, I'm nowhere near as close to it as Lady Helen was." She drops her hands, shaking her head, "But really it's the council who's in charge. I have a lot of training, but Lady Helen decided they'd be in charge of most of the actual ruling until I'm older." 

This was a good idea, Erin thinks, but she's sort of wishing she hadn't, now. Some of them are alright at their jobs, but some of them are less than  stellar. She suspects Councillor Gavre has been pressuring new immigrants to move into smaller housing, and Hoburn and Lethchurch have been using their power over the guards and the merchants respectively to increase their standing in the city. 

She's not sure what to do about this - she's talked to them all about it, but they keep assuring her that their actions will be good for the Sanctuary, and telling her to focus on her studies. 

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...She doesn't have a ring and says she'll be in charge when she's older, she's probably actually thirteen. Why is a thirteen year old even sort of in charge of a city. "That's a lot of power," he says, while he searches for something else to say.

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She shrugs, "I guess it is," she says, "Most wielders don't have as much power as I do," she assures him, "It's just that the Gauntlet needs a wielder, or else the city starts shutting down, and then the Empire would find us."

 Her opinions on this matter are not quite the same as most residents of the city. At least one faction firmly believes she should be in charge of the govering, too, no matter how old she is, just by virtue of her bond with the Healer. If they had their way Cialin would be ruled by the Guardian, too, even though his city is in ruins. Their alliance with the only other free realm on the continents is sometimes a bit tense. 

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"What's the Empire like?"

The only proper empire he's familiar with is the benevolent and sometimes annoyingly paternalistic great Empire, though history books contain mentions of less utopic ones. And they tend to ignore anyone not interested in joining.

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Tiring of idling in front of the vault, Erin gestures for him to follow her as she heads down the stairs towards the right side of the palace. As she walks, she answers him, "The Arming Empire, is its full name," she clarifies, "They want to conquer the world. They've almost done it - only the Sanctuary, Cialin, and parts of the Island Alliance are still free. Most of the refugees we get are from the Islands and Cialin, though... sometimes we get a few wielders or mages from the Empire, running from the army or the recruiters." 

 It's late, but the city is more than large enough that a number of people are still out, walking through the plaza on their way to or from the palace. A wooden stand selling hot drinks is still open in the small market there, while shutters cover the openings in all the others. In the day time workers in the palace, off-duty guards, and servants and nobles alike from all the nearby households come here to eat, but at night it looks like something out of a ghost story. 

Those people they pass acknowledge Erin with a short but respectful bow, hand pressed over their heart. Erin nods in return, smiling pleasantly, before continuing on. His detect magic spell should reveal that every person they pass has a core of magic, most of them identifiable as neutral-shading Water and Life, and much smaller than Erin's, which he might just barely be able to make out past the glow of the Gauntlet. A few of them have larger cores, many of them tinted towards other magics than those most prevalent around the city. One particularly ancient looking woman has a small core which shifts with every colour of the rainbow, Water and Space and every other magic he has encoutered here so far, as well as a number he has not. Several people carry objects which shine like small stars, some pulsing with life like the Rod in the ring room, and some glowing steadily. 

They pass by an elaborate fountain, one of many in the plaza, the water shooting up in straight, continuous streams, the veins of magic beneath them running in a winding loop, the magic entering and exiting from the same two large veins. Erin sticks her hand into one of the streams as she passes, smiling at the fond look one of her people gives her as he walks by. 

 They reach one of the openings onto the plaza, where a set of wide stairs leads down to a canal. A dozen small, shallow boats are tied up at the jetty there, one just pulling away with a trio of passangers. They have oars, settled in the bottom of the boats, but they appear to be using magic to move them instead, one member of the trio pressing a thread of magic into a disc at the prow. 

To the right of the canal is a staircase leading down, to the railcars. To the left is a path leading around the palace, an eleborate railing to prevent falls bracketing it. It's the last Erin heads towards, beginning to speak again now that they've escaped most of the late-night traffic. 

"Most of the mages from the Empire say it's not so bad, living there. People from the west sometimes talk about how the Imperial schools took away their culture; that back when they'd just been conquered the Empire would take the children away and return them speaking Imperial. They've been doing it in the Islands, too, I think, only they haven't been there long enough to have returned any of them yet." 

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It's weirdly quiet here, though not really in a police state way. Just... No nightlife.

"That's horrible. Taking children away, stealing culture... It'd be considered a crime, where I come from." He shakes his head. "We also don't really have wars. Sometimes a cult will start a new planet and start doing horrid things, and get stopped on sapient rights grounds - though unless children are involved people usually just ensure freedom of movement and leave them be - and sometimes two frontier nations will get into a spat, but..."

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"No wars..." Erin sighs, "That would be nice. Maybe I could leave, then, if I didn't have to maintain the shield I wouldn't have to be here all the time." 

The guards salute her as she leads him into a side gate, eyeing him as he passes but nothing else. They palace dome ripples as they pass through it, accepting them into its protective embrace. This side gate leads right into the palace water gardens, beds of flowers and long grasses interspersed by wide, natural looking ponds, filled with water flora. Small, decorative fish can be glimpsed, glinting in the cool green light atop poles littered throughout the garden. 

"The Empire's been at war with the rest of the world since they formed; they ate up all the other countries on Tor, the east continent, first, and then expanded onto Cian. Cialin has been holding out against them for over two hundred years, but they're losing territory now." She gestured up at the sky, "The shield keeps the city hidden," she says, "But if Cialin falls we won't be able to feed our people, so..." 

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